All over! So sad! Except not really, the Index will always be there, I get new comment notifications any time and they pop up on the homescreen too. So feel free to come back to an old post at any point and add a new thought to it. I think I have broken it down in a detailed enough way that if there is anything you might possibly want to discuss, there WILL be a specific location for it. And this is the specific location for if we think all these characters will be able to find a true happy ending.
There are three things at the end of the film that leave it open to possible future conflicts. First, Mahendra/Prabhas 2 declares “My Word is Law!” which is pretty much exactly what got us into this mess in the first place, Sivagami’s over-confidence.
Second, there is that child’s voice over asking of Prabhas 2’s son would become king, answered by a chuckle and being told that is another story.
And finally, generally, because of how the film was edited down, there were a lot of little moments we never got to see, little character resolutions that didn’t happen. Which leaves it open for those resolutions to happen in future. Or to never happen, for it to end in conflict.
Now, I DON’T want this to be a total fanfic type post. So I am just going to start with open discussion topics, and then move on step by step to some more detailed options if you are interested in that type of thing.
General discussion for comments:
Would Devasena be a good Queen Mother? Or is she too undiplomatic?
Is Avantika ready to be Queen? Has her life so far not trained her for it, or has it been the best possible training?
Bijjalla, does anyone trust him not to cause trouble again? And why might they have kept him alive?
Shivudu/Mahendra, will he be a good king of a disaster? Why or why not? What will his relationship be like with Devasena?
Kattappa, what’s next for him?
Mahishmati the kingdom, will it break apart into happy anarchy under Shivudu’s literally lawless rule? Or will it become stronger than ever?
Kuntala, what’s next? Who can rule there?
What else did I forget to ask? What else do you see as potential unresolved issues?
(Will the gold head ever stop floating? If so, where?)
For some more specific discussion questions, here are some ideas that have already been tossed around in the comments:
Avantika goes walkabout:
Avantika really isn’t ready to be Queen OR to be married to Shivudu. She went from a life of misery and dedication to a cause, to falling in love, to being on the royal dais way way too fast. What if Devasena, as her princess of Kuntala and future mother-in-law, suggests that she take some time for herself to prepare, similar to Sivagami sending Amarendra to travel for a bit before his coronation?
What might happen? Might she come back no longer in love with Shivudu? Or in love, but no longer wanting to marry him and give up her independence to be Queen in Mahishmati? Or might she even end up falling in love with someone else?
Mahendra and Devasena Conflict:
Devasena is about Dharma above all. Mahendra is about what he feels is right above all. These two things are similar but not identical. What if there is a peace treaty, a trade agreement, even a simple matter of punishing a thief, and Devasena and Mahendra disagree?
Would Devasena feel it is right to maintain the authority of the throne and bow to Mahendra’s decision as King? Or would she challenge him in open court and refuse to give in? What about Mahendra? Would he listen to a reasoned argument that went against his gut and change his mind? Or would a challenge incense him? And, in this situation, if Avantika is still there, who would she choose to follow? The man she loves/legitimate ruler, or the woman she has idealized her entire life?
The question of his loyalty is left open. In the past, he killed someone against his own better judgement because he thought it was his duty.
What if his duty is somehow brought to bear again? Is there any argument that could convince him to such a thing again? If Bijjalla argues that he is the only “true” member of the royal family left, might he eventually convince Kattappa? If Devasena gives an order that conflicts with Mahendra, or Avantika? Who would he pick? Mahendra as king above all, or someone else?
This just occurred to me, but what would Mahendra do if it were a matter of placing the needs of Mahishmati the kingdom above those of the forest people? It could easily happen, Mahishmati having a drought and needing the water, or starting a fire which accidentally burned the forest. Which side would Mahendra choose?
(Also, this lady! Whatever happened to her? Will she recover from her PTSD or just sink into a catatonic state?)
Now, if you like really specific plots to consider for the future, here’s an idea we came up with on the Devasena post comments:
What if Avantika goes walkabout and falls in love with someone else?
Let’s say, Allu Arjun, a young happy warrior from a neighboring kingdom. His family is Kuntala people who fled to live somewhere else and are now returning. With him, Avantika has the experience of Kuntala culture she never had before, plus a large loving family to embrace her, and the kind of carefree pure love that she had with Shivudu before they discovered his real identity. She wants this, a happy simple life, not life in the palace. But she has sworn to return one year to the day from when she left, so she has to come back at least once.
Avantika before she left was crowned Queen presumptive, and exchanged rings with Shivudu and promises to marry him. And took an oath to always serve the people of Mahishmati and obey their ruler. So when she appears and declares that she wants to marry Allu Arjun and go live in New Kuntala as a simple small landowner type aristocrat, it causes all kinds of issues.
Mahendra having vowed long ago that all her desires and goals are now his, although it breaks his heart, insists on supporting the marriage. Devasena, following her vision of Dharma, is against the marriage. Because Avantika was given this time and training and status in order to serve the people of Mahishmati, she cannot simply walk away from that.
Mahendra and Devasena spectacularly fall out over this issue. Devasena, seeing how much he is hurt at losing Avantika, is even more sure of her rightness. Mahendra remains firm in his simple view of “Avantika-right or wrong”. Ultimately, he removes Devasena from the formal position as Queen Mother and replaces her with Sanga, his adoptive mother. While Devasena remains in the palace and a respected member of the family, and beloved by the people, she no longer has the powers she used to have.
As Devasena predicted, the people are furious and unhappy. With Devasena being removed, and Mahendra being jilted for another man after being publicly engaged, there are skirmishes on the border of Kuntala and Mahishmati. As Kuntala feels it’s princesses are being disrespected, and the Mahishmati people feel this is all Kuntala’s fault. Devasena travels there and tries to calm the people.
Avantika, Mahendra, and Allu Arjun all feel terrible back in the capital city. Mahendra becomes increasingly autocratic, insisting that he has the right to give Avantika permission to do whatever she wants, any vow she made to the people of Mahishmati is meaningless if he overrides it. Avantika is torn between love and duty, wanting the happy simple life in Kuntala but feeling like her duty is turning her towards marrying Mahendra after all in order to make peace. Allu Arjun, being a decent person, offers to step back, to give up his love in order to make peace in Kuntala. All 3 of them end up traveling to the border as well.
Devasena, seeing their arrival and how the Kuntala people cheer Allu Arjun (seeing him as the promise of a new happy Kuntala, and a “winner” over Mahishmati in some way), declares suddenly that it is a Kshatriya’s duty to do what the people want, and they clearly want Allu Arjun. Thus, as Queen Mother, she declares that Allu Arjun is now king of Kuntala. Mahendra quickly agrees with this, making Allu Arjun into a ruler of an dependent state meaning he is now serving Mahishmati directly, as would Avantika as his wife, thereby fulfilling her vow. And also acknowledging that Devasena never really lost that Queen Mother status because it is something she carries within herself.
Finally, a wedding is arranged. At the Kuntala border, symbolically. Mahendra and Devasena will attend, thereby signaling their approval. Avantika can have the simple life she wanted, more or less, since ruling a small kingdom like Kuntala isn’t the same as being queen of Mahishmati. And she can be with the carefree man she loves who really is a nice guy, and a brave man, and will make a good ruler.
But, I think, even after Avantika grows up and spends more time with Mahendra, they will still be in love. Just for better reasons than “She’s pretty!” “He climbed a waterfall for me!” So while I can see her needing time alone and coming to realize that her love story with Shivudu was really based on nothing, and even falling in love with someone else who gives her the whole package she wants (happy home, family, freedom), I still think she will find her way back to Shivudu.
So I would say, in this story, as they dealt with this whole issue, Avantika saw over and over again Shivudu’s best qualities. They way he defended her unquestioningly even when her decision hurt him, the way he cared about his people, the way he ultimately made peace with his mother even when it humbled him in front of the people. And the way he kept her cheerful through out all this, played little jokes on her, forced her to attend music performances, let Allu Arjun win when they had a little fake battle for her hand, and just generally was awesome.
The night before the wedding, Devasena would come to her as a fellow Kuntala woman to give her traditional wisdom and sense her hesitation. And tell her it is okay for her to change her mind again. And in the end, Allu Arjun would become king of Kuntala, which is pretty great for him and for Kuntala. But Avantika would decide, even with all the drawbacks of being Queen of Mahishmati, she would still rather marry Mahendra, not for all those shallow reasons, but because she has really gotten to know him and likes him.
Margaret, no time for lengthy posts now, but perhaps you should split this into two. One for the deleted scenes (just before Mahendra coronation) and one for the post-Mahendra coronation. Just to prevent cluttering this space…..
Oh, in my mind, everything here takes place after the end/coronation. And after my previous speculative “scenes that are missing” scenes. This is firmly in B3 territory.
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Margaret, Indian Television channels are announcing that soon they will broadcast Bahubali 2 movie. I assume there will be more comments once again.
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What!!?? When?!!! Which Channel??!!! Sony MAX?!!!
Not Hindi channels that I know of 😦
Our local city channel played it yesterday in Telugu. Statewide Telugu channel says ‘soon’ 🙂 So I am guessing Hindi channels too would do the same ‘soon’.
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I saw this post go up last night and I deliberately avoided reading it right then because I wanted to save it for my Jesus-fuck-it’s-Monday-AGAIN spell of gloom and self-loathing! I knew this article would pull me out of that and it so did!
Now that my brain’s sparking, Imma get speculating 😛
“Would Devasena be a good Queen Mother? Or is she too undiplomatic?”
There is nothing in the two films to suggest that Devasena is capable of doing diplomacy. Not a single scene. She won’t be a good QM at all. If Sivagami caused all the problems in the previous story by sticking to the law too blindly, Devasena is likely to cause all the problems henceforth with her sticking to “I don’t like how this feels” too hard. Play by ear is great but Mahishmati is a civilization. With enemies. You need strategies to counter them. They plan for those. There’s a battleboard with moving pieces and everything. But Devasena doesn’t care about those. She doesn’t care about laws and restrictions and taking advice. She just does what she feels is right.
PLUS, with her own behavior, she has set a PRECEDENT for defiance of the QM’s and the King’s word. All anyone needs to undermine her authority is just use seemingly humanitarian arguments. “Killed a guy?” “Well, he hurt my feelings, QM, and a broken heart gives me the right to kill him!” “You went AWOL while on guard duty with the King’s procession in the middle of a battle?!” “Well, QM, you see I don’t believe battles can solve our conflicts so I quit. I don’t care if it puts the king’s life in danger, I just felt like the right thing to do!”
Devasena is not going to like a taste of her own medicine. For anyone that wants to sabotage her, they have everything they need. Want to a war? Just have a fake threat sent from another kingdom and Devasena will make sure they go to war with them! Want to lower the public trust in Mahishmati constitution? Sure, just have a word with Devasena in court about it! Want to conspire against the king? All you gotta do is come up with a plan to make Mahendra look like he’s on the wrong side of “dharma” and she will sign the assassination order before you can finish making your plea for it!
Devasena is gullible (my new favorite word BTW) and volatile. She will make a terrible QM. She’s going to make people miss Sivagami (who I hope is living under disguise somewhere!)
“Is Avantika ready to be Queen? Has her life so far not trained her for it, or has it been the best possible training?”
Considering they didn’t even really plan to have that character in the film, I don’t think she would be anything but eye candy if the film gets made. Her role was cut or not included because it wasn’t necessary for the progression of the story. She’s at the coronation because they ran of time and they had to conclude every story arc in one single shot.
She is perhaps the most trained for what’s coming though. She’s the most trained militarily, she’s the most trained strategically and she’s the most mentally prepared (thanks PTSD!) for shit to hit the proverbial fan. BUT, she and Mahendra don’t have the intuitive experience of each other that people in actual long relationships do. It’s safe to assume they’ve known each other for less than a month from when they first meet to the coronation. They also know nothing (them and Jon Snow, HA!) about “ruling”.
Does she want that life? Well, Queen of Mahishmati, unless someone decides to attack ASAP, is a plush enough job. It’s a comfortable and beautiful life unless you’re worrying about learning how to run the place. As queen, she has no authority and no power. She can choose not to be involved in the process and leave that to Mahendra and Devasena and court experts.
“Bijjalla, does anyone trust him not to cause trouble again? And why might they have kept him alive?”
The only accusation against Bajjala is conspiracy against a member of the royal family and nobody knows that he made that happen apart from Kattappa. Even Kattappa doesn’t know for sure since the order for Amarendra’s execution came from Sivagami and Bhallala claims responsibility for the conspiracy when he’s mutilating the body. Legally, nobody knows IF he’s to be held accountable for what happened. Plus they have him at the coronation dais (they didn’t at the last one) meaning there’s still a place for him within the royal council. Devasena never even speaks to him in the films so she may not know how evil he is. Only Kattappa does. And he isn’t famous for being a snitch.
“Shivudu/Mahendra, will he be a good king of a disaster? Why or why not? What will his relationship be like with Devasena?”
Mahendra needs to hit the ground running to be a success. He has no one other than Sanga and his adoptive father that he really knows at all. He has the added responsibility of righting historical wrongs. In the version of BB3 in my head, there’s a period of confusion post coronation where a lot of conspiracy happens to try and dethrone Mahendra and advisors, in good faith, ask him to send armies to quell rebellion. This leads to some overenthusiastic crown supporters committing atrocities against innocents (innocent royals?) who swear vengeance and begin amassing armies against Mahishmati.
To establish Mahendra as THE Bahubali, there needs to a big scary war where he saves the day. Just barely though. And it’s enough to make him question things. The first thing we see about him is him questioning what’s at the top of the waterfall. His inquisitive nature will lead him to some mysteries which will set things in motion.
I see him trying to be a good king. Trying to be good, trying to be just and knowing that he needs all the advice he can get. He won’t be gullible though. He’s strong willed with natural good instincts (hey! You don’t climb a waterfall like that because your instincts are shot!)
His relationship with Devasena won’t be like what Sivagami and Amarendra had. Devasena doesn’t know how to be a mother. But Mahendra knows what a mother looks like. He already has a mother. To love and adore and put on a pedestal. Devasena is going to get very jealous of that at some point. Even if she doesn’t, she wouldn’t have the same hold over Mahendra as Sanga does. Let’s not forget Sanga is quite bossy too.
“Kattappa, what’s next for him?”
Retirement. With a position in the royal council. He would be the go-to guy when anyone needs to know “what would Amarendra Bahubali do in this situation”. At some point, Kattappa needs to die too with some noble cause at heart that redeems him for WKKB.
“Mahishmati the kingdom, will it break apart into happy anarchy under Shivudu’s literally lawless rule? Or will it become stronger than ever?”
Mahishmati will be as lawless as a house full of teenagers whose parents told them they’re going out of town for a whole week and they’re in charge. There’s going to be a huge house party where something valuable will definitely get broken. Somebody will have to clean up and somebody will definitely have to answer the door if the cops come a knockin’ . I’m leaning more towards enemies looking at Mahishmati civil war as an opportunity to invade. Mahendra’s future as king will depend on how he wins this war. IF he wins this war, that is! Industrially, militaristically, Mahishmati is at its peak when the gold statue goes up. It’s going to be a matter of managing what’s already there.
“Kuntala, what’s next? Who can rule there?”
You need a RF to rule. What I want to know is who’s the heir to Jay Varma now. It doesn’t make sense to put all that money into rebuilding the place (Bhallala has it burned down) only to have no heir to run the place. Whoever gets chosen will need Devasena’s blessings for sure. That might be a problem because Devasena is Devasena. I think her sister-in-law isn’t dead so she might rule or maybe she had a kid we don’t see in the film who’s a part of the rebel band who gets crowned.
“Will the gold head ever stop floating? If so, where?”
This might have been a joke but I think it’s important. Downstream, there might be a powerful kingdom/bandits who see the floating gold head appear in the river, recognize that as the ruthless king of Mahishmati (who they might have had a feud with) and decide hey this might be a nice time to go attack them. Or it could attract robbers and migrants (Gee!! They can afford to throw away a perfectly good stature head made of gold, they must be RICH! Let’s go live there) Throwing away gold is considered inauspicious in Hinduism at any rate so that’s not a good sign.
“What else did I forget to ask? What else do you see as potential unresolved issues?”
Bhallala’s line. We see the one son for Bhallala and we don’t know what happened to his wife. What if she’s like on a tour with her other son/daughter and Bahubali loyalists go after them and they come back in chains asking what did we ever do wrong and it’s a dharma problem all over again. Plus, Bhallala’s in-laws might be up for a conspiracy with Bajjala.
Plus the epilogue. It sounds like lore. So maybe the story is being told decades later and there’s no Mahishmati anymore and the tales of its kings and queens are more like unverified legends at that point.
(Diving into fanfic now)
Maybe in BB3 (since Rajamouli has already said this particular story is done but the universe still exists) we see Prabhas 3 being raised by Sathyaraj 2 and they’re nomads. Prabhas 3 is still the descendant of Bahubali and Sathyaraj 2 is still the descendant of Kattappa who’s family was released from the vow of slavery (or not) and his line is asked to be the guardian of the Bahubali line till the prophesied return to the empire happens. Sathyaraj 2 just knows his family is supposed to take care of boys from this other family and doesn’t question it. Maybe it becomes like the Bahubali line swears to marry girls from the Kattappa line so Sathyaraj is officially mama by blood.
Prabhas 3 also knows there like some curse on his family where his people somehow end up dying but the eldest boy is always kept alive and safe by Sathyaraj’s family. They don’t know the full legend. That’s known to some oldie in the nomad gang who keeps lecturing the two of them about their duty and what they’re “supposed to” do and they hate it. So one day these two, plus maybe Allu Arjun (who may be a brother/cousin or Sathyaraj 2’s son) get lost in the jungles trying to hunt a deer to eat or something and they come upon these magnificent ruins. They explore it further and they happen to see statues bearing what seems like their own faces. And they discover the magical stones. They’re intrigued and explore further and find out about the curse and how they can break it. So they go on this quest to break it. And that’s the film. It’s pure VFX and fantasy and the backstory is learnt though some ancient manuscript/engraving on the walls of the ruin and the Mahishmati anthem plays when they’re reading it.
And Prabhas 3 isn’t some happy go lucky character like Shivudu. He’s someone who’s had a hard life and who knows his family is cursed. He’s lost a lot and he doesn’t know why god is so hard on him. He goes on the quest because he’s tired of the suffering not because of dharma or a promise to a girl something. It’s very personal to him. Of course the sorcery on which Mahishmati was built would make an amazing VFX extravaganza!
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So, to summarize your vision of what would happen after the ending, Devasena’s autocratic nature would lead her to weaken the stability of the kingdom, and Shivudu’s devoted followers will take advantage of this leading to mob/crowd rule which Shivudu isn’t sure how to qwel since he is reluctant to attack his own people. Until something important is broken. Maybe while destroying a mansion belonging to one of Bhalla’s evil associates, they start a fire that burns the fields? Damaging a food source, and a source of income for poor farmers, seems like something Shivudu would understand thanks to his jungle upbringing, and which might get him to act.
Shivudu is forced to take the lead in a Civil War, and while his troops are putting it down and establishing order, another powerful enemy sees the chaos of the kingdom and attacks. Shivudu, through force of personality and his willingness to sacrifice himself in battle, gets the people firmly behind him again at the last minute, he leads the army and the people into battle and they manage to fight off the enemy. The kingdom is saved, and Shivudu has finally learned the lessons of ruling with love but also firmness. And, in your version (remember, we don’t all hate Devasena!), Shivudu also realizes that his mother is not the greatest at giving advice and has to remove her from her position, either replacing her with Avantika who has now given birth, or with his adoptive mother (Sivagami was an adoptive mother as well, never married to a king, and yet she served as Queen Mother, so it is possible).
And I like your idea for BB3!!! I assume it takes place in the far future, like several generations later. If not, can it? Oh oh! Could it take place in colonial times? This might be a little too strange, and way outside of what you were thinking, but I would love it if the restoration of Mahishmati flows into the establishment of independent India. Satyaraj and Prabhas are travelers, Satyaraj keeps trying to keep him out of the independence movement and Prabhas keeps trying to do what he can even without permission. Until finally Satyaraj takes him far away from all the cities, maybe gets them attached as bearers to an architectural dig, and that’s how Prabhas ends up having a vision of old Mahishmati.
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That’s Magadheera you’re describing. medieval story meets modern India. I don’t know but Raj/Independence era is too loaded a setting to use. But I kinda like the idea. It’s very interesting indeed.
If we try to establish a timeline for Mahishmati, we’re probably looking at it being set in the 16th or 17th century (I’m using the Sheikh as a reference point). Mahishmati is 375 years old when Mahendra ascends so if he rules for around 15-20 years and all of them are filled with chaos and war. If we set this during colonial times we’re risking nationalist sentiments creeping in and it looking something like Mangal Pandey or Lagaan or both.
I’m imagining more of a continuation of the same period. It’s a few generations later like 200-odd years and Prabhas 3 is a man in his mid-30s. Sathyaraj 2 is his companion slash guardian in his 60s. Think something like the deshatan before Amarendra’s coronation except they’re both very depressed about their lives. The curse has made them lose everyone they love, Sathyaraj 2’s wife has died and his son, bound by the vow, is being raised by relatives in a far off village who resent the vow.
Prabhas 3 is bitter because the family of the girl he loved since childhood refused to permit them to marry because of the curse. No-one knows exactly what it is anymore but they know anyone close this guy ends up dead.
He’s a dark, grungy, hard hearted man who’s turning tricks on the road to stay alive. He’s surviving but barely. Maybe they’re cons with a heart of gold. They con people all the time but if they see they’ve share their ill gotten gains with the needy though really begrudgingly.
They chance upon the ruins and they get drawn to the legend of the stones out of greed. But they end up taking the journey to break the curse which it turns out had affected a lot of common people too. When the curse is broken, the people elect them to rule Mahishmati.
I don’t know why but I really want to see a darker version of Bahubali.
Is it because dark, grungy, bitter Prabhas sounds HOTTER THAN THE SUN? Because that’s the big appeal to me.
On Mon, Jul 17, 2017 at 11:32 AM, dontcallitbollywood wrote:
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I have this entire story in my head where he’s this totally grungy shady loyal as a dog baddy working for a Don who is Kamal Hasan. This story has Alia Bhatt opposite him and Nawazuddin as her brother the other don. The two dons are fueding and Alia is traded as a wife for Prabhas in exchange for peace. There are ulterior motives all around! 😁
Can he smoke a lot too? I don’t care if it is injurious for health, it looks really really cool. Also, can Alia have her own surprise action sequence? Like, what if on their wedding night she is planning to kill him and pulls a gun when he tries to kiss her, and then he pulls a gun too, and it turns into a whole action sequence with the marigolds and stuff used as weapons? And then Prabhas barely is able to capture her, but the next day when Kamal Haasan wants to kill her, he objects because he’s fallen in love with her spunkiness. Oh oh! And then they can both go on the run together, and she can slowly come to fall for him, so that when Nawazuddin shows up to rescue her, she ends up fighting alongside Prabhas.
Sorry, I just totally took over your film. Mostly I just want him to smoke a lot.
On Mon, Jul 17, 2017 at 12:18 PM, dontcallitbollywood wrote:
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It’s fanfic and it’s meant to be enjoyed as such. I mostly just desperately want an Alia and Prabhas film where both are dark. I’ll do the whole story for you when I’m properly up.
Yes he smokes. Also drinks a bit. Lots of machetes too. 😁
And guns? Guns in both hands?
(I may need to rewatch Bujjigaddu tonight)
Single gun. Plus a really grungy almost dirty look. If done right, you should hate the guy. Till the falling in love happens. Hah!
So long as there is a scene in which he looks bored while an item girl dances for him. Amitabh and Hindi film has given me this strange fetish for “bad guys” who are bored by item girls.
Makes it all the sweeter when they finally let go of their complete focus and fall for the heroine.
Nope. He’s too lowly to be invited to those things in the gang. He does have a regular prostitute though. They don’t smile when they see each other. I think I’m going to be up putting this in words now. It’s just been like thinking aloud to friends and crap in my head so far. I hope I finish it before you’re off to bed tonight. 😛
I’m so sorry this fanfic is kinda taking a life of its own now. It’s superrrrrrrr long now. Can I mail it to you when it’s finished?
Ha! I love it that you are so inspired!
Thanks to a nice commentator-who-shall-remain-nameless, who posted links back to my blog and got me referrals, I know about a website called “archive of our own”. I highly encourage you to put it up there, that way I can read it, and so can the many other people who will no doubt want to.
One request: Please don’t have the prostitute nobly die for him ala Muqadder Ka Sikander everything else! I hate that trope. Let her live and be happy.
On Tue, Jul 18, 2017 at 10:41 AM, dontcallitbollywood wrote:
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The prostitute makes a guest appearance. She isn’t noble or evil. She’s just a regular professional who connects with a client but not like she’d give up her life for him or something.
I’ll definitely try the archive thing!!
Dammit @Asmita, how am I supposed to work now with this storyline running in my head? With all my favorites in it that too – Kamal Haasan! Prabhas! Nawazudddin! Alia! Directed by Vishal Bhardwaj? Or Mani Ratnam? Or Dibakar Banerjee. *runs away sobbing*
Hmm this is how I see the main characters after BB2, some of which are extensions of what we already discussed in the Devasena thread.
(1) Mahendra takes his duties as a king very seriously. He is not fooling around. He sees how the kingdom has suffered, he sees how Devasena has suffered, and he wants everyone to be at peace. He wants them to feel safe. He works hard at educating himself, he surrounds himself with wise counsel. He struggles under the weight of expectations, he is aware of perpetually being in his father’s shadow, but he doesn’t complain because he is empathetic towards how everyone else has had it much worse for too long. Plus, he’s not much of a complainer anyway, like his dad.
(2) Kattappa would like to live out the rest of his days in peace, but he has one final duty towards Mahishmati – to help the young king ramp up, to protect the kingdom when it is at it’s most vulnerable and open to attack from the borders, to rebuild the army and it’s confidence.
(3) Devasena is aware of her duty as queen mother, especially as she is the only one in the royal family with an inkling of what royalty and responsibility actually means. But she is also deeply affected by what happened to Kuntala. She wants to rebuild the kingdom, to return it back to its glory. She bonds with Avantika over this, and it gives Avantika a new purpose.
(4) Avantika remains deeply devoted towards Devasena, which is reciprocated with love, care and a common purpose towards Kuntala. She is not yet married to Mahendra.
(5) Sanga and her husband leave back to their village because they feel too out of place in the palace, and this only drives home Mahendra’s increasing isolation (maybe he meets someone new during a little @me time in the wilderness, climbing and swimming?)
(6) I am still sticking to my theory that Bijjala is around because he’s going to be the narrator this time around and talk of a curse (Rajamouli loves borrowing from mythology) that will kill the father in that line before the heir is born – like Vikramadevan and Amarendra. So Prabhas gets to be Vikramadevan in the flash back story about the curse, and Mahendra in the present. Do they believe Bijjala and go on an adventure looking for the solution? Or is it a trap because that’s what Bijjala does?
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1) Agree! He may not have the experience, but he has teh willingness to learn and desire to do the right thing, which will help him learn quickly.
2) I really hope Kattappa does all of that quickly and then gets to go off and live on a small farm somewhere or something.
3 & 4) In your vision, does this mean that Avantika dedicates herself to restoring Kuntala? Maybe becomes the new ruler? And does not marry Shivudu? Because honestly, I could see that.
5) I could see Shivudu getting along with someone who had a similarly happy childhood. Doesn’t even have to be in the wilderness. Maybe there is a female sneak thief in Mahishmati who was raised by poor but loving parents and spent her days challenging herself to climb the highest walls or steal the impossible item.
6) Going off in a different direction from all the previous points, perhaps this is what saves Shivudu and Avantika’s relationship? Before they can get married, the curse has to be solved. This gives them time to get to know each other while trying to solve it, instead of rushing into marriage.
On Mon, Jul 17, 2017 at 3:37 AM, dontcallitbollywood wrote:
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I am trying my best to make Mahendra and Avantika not end up with each other 😀 They had zilch chemistry.
The ending is Avantika becoming the queen of independent Kuntala, happy and relieved that she didn’t get married to Shivudu because she realizes she didn’t love him either. And Mahendra ruling over Mahishmati wisely for days to come, married to someone else. Bonus – and he even gets to see his heir!
Maybe Mahendra had some childhood friend among the jungle people who moved away when they were little and now is back? Her family became farmers, so she is a little more civilized, but also has the same “climb a waterfall barefoot” kind of natural joy.
On Mon, Jul 17, 2017 at 1:25 PM, dontcallitbollywood wrote:
I can totally see Mahendra falling for someone like that. Because he is not just looking for a brave warrior princess like his father, he wants to know who the person is behind the sword and the anger and the fire and the facade (like he asks Avantika in the forest), he wants to see the joy and a smile, he wants happiness.
Yes! I would love him with a childhood friend who would do things like play pranks on him, or challenge him to a race across the palace courtyard.
On Mon, Jul 17, 2017 at 2:12 PM, dontcallitbollywood wrote:
1. Devasena- I think she will be a good Queen Mother. According to me, she has had enough time to reflect upon the effect her impulsive and rash behavior has had, and I suppose with age, she would have calmed down. Someone pointed out in a previous post that she looked “unemotional” when her brother’s throat was cut by Bhalla in BB2. To me, that looked more like a controlled rage, a conscious reining in of emotions. I think Devasena would have learnt restraint by now. Also, after a quarter century of being held captive as a punishment for probably that incendiary rejection of the proposal, among other things, I feel she will be way too scared of saying/doing things impulsively. I feel a part of Devasena died in that jail cell and she will be a shell of her former self, at least when it comes to her volatility. Somehow, I just cannot imagine her as ‘Mera vachan hi hai shaasan’ as Sivagami was. I think she will be happy to take a backseat and let Mahendra shine.
2. Avantika- She has been trained as a guerrila warrior and is used to a hard life, hiding out in icy mountains and living in a cave. There are two possibilities. Either she is happy and relieved that finally her struggles are over and she can live a little. She will take well to queening, I guess, because if one assumes that Devasena would be too volatile and headstrong as a queen, Avantika seems the kind to be happy blending into the background but also rising to the occasion when necessary. She will be good at strategising when necessary, as she has had years of training in the same. At the very least, she will know of other guerrila bands if any, and can think up ways to counter them. The other possibility is that she realises she is out of her depth, that this is not really what she wanted, or feel completely lost once the main mission of her life (freeing Devasena) has been accomplished. She may withdraw into a shell and one day, maybe just escape from it all. The way she did after they slept with each other in BB1. I did not see nearly as much depth to the Avantika-Sivu love story as there was to the Amarendra-Devasena one. I could totally imagine her going on to resurrect Kuntala. Sivu will be disconsolate though.
3. Bijjala- This guy has been kept alive I think solely to keep open the possibility of a BB3. Evil has got to live on. He will be considerably weakened though and not wield the same influence and power as he did before. While he was definitely responsible for Bhalla turning out to be a monster and his scheming was what helped him get the crown, one must not forget that he himself derived a lot of power from Bhalla. Not just from Bhalla, his son and the king. But also from his conviction that Bhalla truly deserved to be king. There is a parallel to be drawn between him and Avantika here. Both of them lived majority of their lives in the sole pursuit of a mission. In Bijjala’s case too, that sense of purpose is no longer there what with Bhalla dead. He is too old to become king even if the entire Sivu-Devasena-Avantika-Sanga clan died. It is possible that he may reform, if only to be able to live out his last days within the luxuries of the palace, along with a modicum of respect. I know, it seems farfetched and the possibility of him continuing his maliciousness is far more delicious. However, somehow I just don’t see it happening. Okay, he poisons people’s mind againt Sivu. To what end, really? He has no one now. The tables have been turned. I think he will finally turn over a new leaf and maybe, just MAYBE, help Sivu learn the ropes. After all, like one commentator pointed out in another post, he is the only one up there on the royal dais who has had years of Kshatriya training and education.
4. Sivu – I see Sivu being a fabulous king. He has all of the good intrinsic characteristics that his father had, and along with it, has the added benefit of people looking upon him as benefactor/savior. People’s respect and love will keep him going, while the need to live up to their expectations will keep him grounded. I don’t see Mahishmati turning to anarchy under him, I really don’t see it being a “lawless rule”. He did not follow rules and laws up until now because he did not know them and his purpose for the time being was taking out Bhalla–as taking him down would avenge his father’s death, mother’s humiliation and free the people of tyranny in one fell swoop. He did not need to follow any ‘rules’ to take down a king who was anyway a total tyrant, who did not care one bit that his statue would easily have crushed 100-150 people had it fallen. Once he starts to rule, I feel quite sure that he will take to it in a mature, responsible way, but will not be afraid to toe the line when necessary.
5. Floating head – wait, did it not stop floating? I thought it did, near the Shivalinga that Shiva placed at the foot of the waterfall. I remember thinking ‘the story has now come full circle’ when I saw that part.
6. OH KATAPPA – I see him having formally resigned from his duties at Mahishmati, yet being on standby in a consultancy role :p
7. I agree, I think Sanga and her husband may not be all too happy with palace life and may just return to their forest village. But they keep visiting. Sivu visits too, doing a deshyatan on the way to see how his praja is faring.
That’s about all I can think of 😛
1. I feel like that was the problem in the last generation, it seems as though the king and the elders of the family are supposed to be a balanced power. that’s what the thrown arrangement looks like. But Bijjalla was useless, so Sivagama got used to ruling on her own while the babies grew up. And then she had a hard time learning how to rule as a partnership later, and Bhalla never really pushed the issue. But Devasena, hopefully, will have an easier time with the whole balance of power thing.
2. I am still holding out hope for their relationship! But only if they take the time to fall in love all over again as different people. I could see Avantika enjoying being with someone who can take care of her and devote himself to making her happy, and Sivu needs someone who knew him before. But it’s not going to happen with just the coronation scene, there needs to be more.
3. We never really get to see his reaction to Bhalla’s death. Is he broken in grief like Sivagami was after Amarendra’s death? Or is he furious and looking for vengeance like Bhalla was after his son’s death? If it’s the first, then they might as well keep him around, let him give legitimacy to their rule by his presence, but keep him under watch. But it could always be the first masking the second.
4. Yay! An optimist! I do think he has the big heart and pure instincts to be a good ruler. and hopefully the people will love him enough to wait while he figures out the rest of it.
5. If it did stop floating there, I wonder what the forest tribe made of it? They seemed like fairly peaceful uninterested in wealth kind of people. Wouldn’t be surprised if they just melted it down and added it to the Lingaa.
6. Maybe Shivu arranges Kattappa’s marriage with a nice widow woman who will take care of him and fattens him up and make him Grandpa to her many children? I know it seems unlikely, but wouldn’t it be great!
7. Yeah, that’s kind of what I think too. But now that the secret passage is open, the trip isn’t THAT long, they can go back and forth. And if/when the babies come, I could see them switching to more like halftime at the palace and half in the forest. Or else Sanga is just going to insist on having her grandbabies for every school vacation. Which wouldn’t be the worst thing, for the Mahishmati heirs to spend half their time running barefoot in the forest getting yelled at and spoiled by Grandma like normal children.
On Tue, Jul 18, 2017 at 1:02 AM, dontcallitbollywood wrote:
1. I agree, Sivagami had it tough and she did a really good job of raising the boys. Bijjala was no better than a conniving cockroach. Also Devasena, for all her outbursts and foot-in-mouth moments, does not seem to be as authoritarian as Sivagami. She is likely to be less rigid. Another interesting possibility to me is that Devasena may have aged, had time to reflect on things, but since her human interactions and responsibilities were next to none in that jail cell, maybe she has not REALLY grown up, as people do by virtue of experiences. Maybe the idealism of her youth remains intact. That’s a good thing.
2. I am holding out for them too! Good point about Sivu wanting someone who knew him before the entire battle/coronation saga happened. Both have been the biggest catalysts in each others’ lives. He left his idyllic forest life in pursuit of her, and it turned out to the huge turning point of his life. Hers was a drab life with a single-minded pursuit of a seemingly impossible goal. He helped her achieve that with arguably more ease than she would have managed to, if she did at all. Even if they don’t end up together, they can never, ever forget each other.
3. We don’t see his reaction to Bhalla’s death, but we do see him hobbling along with the priest, trying to get Kattappa to stop Sivu from killing him, towards the end of the agni-prasthaan. Kattappa shoves him aside. I suppose he is broken, and it could just as easily be brokenness masking sheer hatred. However, I feel he will just live out his days in diminished power and fear for his life.
4. Yes!! Definitely optimistic when it comes to Sivu as king. He is good-hearted, intelligent, ingenuous, and has the backing of four people who genuinely love him. Hopefully, he will also make it to the Amarendra honor roll 🙂
5. Oooooh, yes!! They definitely did not seem interested in wealth. Maybe they melt it into the linga, like you said, or maybe they use it to fund a waterfall climbing academy named after Sivu 😛 😛
6. That is such a cute image! Kattappa would make an awesome grandpa. Just imagine the kind of storytelling the kids would enjoy!
7. Yes, you’re right. With the passage having been opened, it might not be that long a journey after all. It’s a lovely idea, the Mahishmati heirs running around and getting scolded and pampered by Sanga while their granddad looks on fondly. Here’s a thought: Avantika, kids and entourage take the tunnel route, Sivu takes the longer route on horseback both to do the deshyatan and also to quell his need for adventure. In these interludes, Devasena can take on the mantle of reigning monarch. That’s a pretty picture to me 🙂
Waterfall climbing academy named after Sivu 😛 😛 Thats hilarious!
Hahahaha, thanks 😛 😛
1. Oh, I like that idea! That she is the voice urging on “no, we can do this! Why not!” instead of saying “no, hold back, tradition”
2. It’s a very “first love” kind of feeling, like those high school sweethearts with the passionate connection who drift apart during college. But sometimes they come back together. Maybe they drift apart when Shivu starts focusing on learning how to be a good king to the exclusion of everything else and Avantika is trying to find a purpose. But after a couple of years, they meet up again as old friends, Avantika is running a training academy, or writing a history of Kuntala, or something like that. Shivu has figured out how to be a king and found a work life balance. And over a series of dinners and letters and stuff, they fall in love for real this time. Just like the high school sweethearts who meet again through Facebook in their 30s.
3. I hope so! Bijjalla’s the worst!
4. And Mahishmati has all that extra gold in the treasury! He only dumped the head (after possibly hollowing it out), the rest of the body is still available.
5. I think this is the best possible answer.
6. Yes! And I feel like a bossy but indulgent wife is exactly what he needs.
7. Yes, I think that is pretty much the best possible answer. Plus, it gives Avantika the time she might need to remember who she is outside of Siva’s shadow.
On Tue, Jul 18, 2017 at 8:48 PM, dontcallitbollywood wrote:
1. Yes!!! I think Devasena is very fluid and not at all a ‘maintaining the old way of life is of utmost importance’ type of person. The way Mahishmati is now, the old guard definitely needs to give way to fresher, hopefully better things.
2. Yes! This kind of love would be ideal! I am loving this idea of a reunion years later. Somehow Sivu and Avantika make me think of food that is flash fried. Please bear with me on the seemingly silly example. However that’s exactly what it seems like to me; two people thrown together in difficult circumstances which required instant actions and reactions without much time to dwell on anything. For love to truly last, ideally it should have time to grow, to build up. Also Sivu and Avantika are so young and spunky. They really need to live for themselves some more and then perhaps, reunite once they are better fulfilled in all aspects.
4. Can one call that gold extra though? In BB1 there are clear indications that the gold was extorted from the people. Maybe he should just find a way to give it back to them.
5. Hahaha thanks 😛
6. I really hope he gets to live out his last few years in idyll. The guy’s entire life has been about others. He deserves some peace!
7. Absolutely! Some time away from each other should keep the fire burning 😛
I was thinking about the gold on watch 4. Yes, it was stolen from the people, but how could you possibly return it? You would have to have records of how much was taken from each family, and then you would have to decide if you should consider sentimental value and who loses the gold that went to the head adn so on and so forth.
Really, the simplest solution is just to announce that it is being funneled back to the people through social programs, build a hospital and improve the roads and set up a soup kitchen, and just generally make life better for the citizens of Mahishmati. So you are “giving it back to them”, but in a different form.
On Wed, Jul 19, 2017 at 12:17 AM, dontcallitbollywood wrote:
Yeah, all the examining of records will be a big pain. The social programmes idea is great, really. I love the idea of a soup kitchen. Maybe the royal family comes down to serve food to the commoners once a week or something like that. That way, they are not as removed from the public as royals usually are, and it can serve as a mini-praja yatan, where Sivu gets to talk to the people and gauge the general mood of the state 🙂
Yes! Heck, let’s have a bunch of schools as well, with Devasena coming down for a weekly lecture on wound treatment, and Avantika teaching all the girls female-style hand to hand combat (you know, punching from the hips instead of the shoulders), and Shivu, I don’t know, I guess climbing stuff and sexual harassment lessons? Or, more usefully, anti-sexual harassment lessons pointing out that it is only okay if the girl is psychologically damaged and suffering from PTSD and part of a cultish rebellion movement. But otherwise, no means no!
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Hahahaha!! This bit- “(you know, punching from the hips instead of the shoulders)” is hilarious! 😀 😀
I never was able to take her seriously as a warrior. I dunno if it was her lack of technique/training or just her ‘MUST look fierce, blazing eyes, lips-upcurled-in-what-I-think-is-a-scary-grimace and all’ expression.
Maybe that’s what her classes are in! “Okay girls, let’s say you know you can’t win this fight. Have you considered just glaring at him really really hard?”
AHAHAHAHA!! Thank God she doesn’t resort to crying when things don’t go her way. Small mercies 😛
@MusingsMosaic great point on the change in Devasena. Now that you mention it, it’s kind of obvious how she is different towards the end. You’re right about how restrained she is when her brother gets killed (I can’t imagine the younger Devasena reacting that way), or even the way she looks at Mahendra when Bhalla places his foot on her head (It was almost a combination of revulsion towards Bhalla and concern towards Mahendra in a “hope he doesn’t lose the plot, like I would have earlier” way). In fact, coming to think of it, she is even quite restrained when Bhalla dies in the end – more pity than rage.
The fact that Bijjala is still alive supports it as well. I wonder if there’s a deleted scene on Devasena and Mahendra debating Bijjala’s fate.
Thanks @Mira Ranjana 🙂
And I feel relieved that I am not the only person who could detect pity on her face, as she pours the coals into the pyre for burning Bhalla. Of course, there was a firm determination, a steel set to her face. But none of that almost-manic satisfaction one sees in BB1, when she speaks for the first time, telling Kattappa how her son will rescue her and let her burn him. I expected a typical Devasena ‘sneer’ for this scene, but it was absent!
For that matter, even Kattappa does not look happy/overjoyed/relieved when Bhalla is burning. There is no discernible emotion on his face. I found that curious. Maybe I am thinking too much, in Kattappa’s case at least.
@MusingsMosaic Maybe hearing the story being narrated by Kattappa made her realize all the things we discussed in the Devasena thread? Or maybe it was the long introspection during captivity that she was not entirely blameless in the chain of events set into motion culminating in Amarendra’s death.
Agreed on Kattappa’s emotion when Bhalla was burning. Lowered eyes, sadness and resignation than jubilation. Maybe he was thinking “thus ends the saga of Sivagami and two sons she raised”.
Oddly enough, even Mahendra wasn’t celebrating all that much. In fact, I think he looks away, his back to the pyre, and when he does turn around for a moment to look, I don’t remember any anger in his eyes.
This photo amazes me. They are all supposed to be random people in the kingdom but their expressions are so strong in every scene. I appreciate Rajamouli because he is able to extract the desired expression even from junior artists.
I agree with MusingsMosaic, the floating head stops at Shivalinga, which is a brilliant ending, though the idea of gold floating is hard to digest.
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Have you noticed, it is not just the village people whose expressions are given a lot of attention to, but also random soldiers and even the forest people (when Sivu uproots the Shivalinga). Even people who almost fade in the background have the perfect expressions and gestures!
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What I really notice is that, for most of the crowd shots, they used actual extras, not CGI people. It adds so much flavor when you can see separate expressions on faces and that they are real people.
On Tue, Jul 18, 2017 at 8:54 PM, dontcallitbollywood wrote:
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In over populated India extras are cheaper than machinery/technology (CGI) 😁
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I see nothing but the whole circle again, but this time prabhas2 is in conflict with his son born with tamanna, who somehow dies in child birth (don’t forget that they had sex in that song), so she might already be pregnant. The child might be under anushka’s supervision while prabhas2 clueless on both battle skills and ruling skills, will most possibly loose the kingdom to outsiders with deaths of kattappa and nazer. Just before that nazer leaves his watermark on prabhas2 which will probably push him to foolishness and drive himself, his adoptive parents and loyalists back into the forest. He might become a kind of disaster duck, grumpy moody and alcoholic and preventing his people from uprising against the mighty mahishmati. On the other hand anushka secretly trains prabhas2 son in armory, battle tactics, politics and makes him another prabhas1, always hiding his identity from his father. So our new son prabhas3 is banished from forest, and so he takes his grand mother with him who dies on her way to the capital. He slays the king, marries his daughter and returns back to Forrest to meet his father. People accept him but not his father. So, he takes loyalists back to capital along with resisting father who becomes another bijjala. And so the plot continues.
Oh that’s depressing! I always have hope that the older generation will actually find a way to peacefully let go.
On Wed, Jul 19, 2017 at 1:17 AM, dontcallitbollywood wrote:
I throughly relished the questions you posed and the theories and detailed discussions many of you were having. I honestly never came across this thread. I would have personally exhausted all my theories on the series here and got it out of my system. But I did something different. I started writing a fanfiction sequel using all my existing theories on Wattpad and it ended up having a life of its own as an independent story. It would be too difficult to condense it here though I would love to. But if any of you here on this thread would like to discuss about my Baahubali 3 perspective, you are welcome on Wattpad. My story is titled Shatru Sesham: Sequel of Baahubali.
Thanks for commenting and joining the discussion!
Oh my oh my! Now I have to watch B1 and B2 again and I already watched them both at least six times. I absolutely adore the intricate discussion posts herein. They make me think I’m not paying enough attention. I tend to watch Indian films in a haze of suspended disbelief. They lift me out of my reality which, as for most of us, can be good and bad. The scenery, the music, the improbable plots and incandescent characters wash over me and I swallow it all whole. I don’t question, don’t wonder; I just dream. My favorites after Bahu 1 and 2, fall into the Magadheera, Mirzya, etc. categories. But after joining this blog, I understand that I’m doing Indian cinema a disservice. There is more to Bolly and Tolly and Kolly-plus than fantasy, romance and extravagance. This year more reality-based films and actors are being singled out for awards (Rajkumar Rao, dear Irrfan) and the handful of gritty Netflix and Amazon TV series (Breathe, Sacred Games) I’ve had the privilege to watch, promise to grow into an armload. Is this due to the crossover influence of Western cinema? Or to a new crop of younger, more involved Indian movie fans? In any case, I’m glad I found Don’t Call it Bollywood. I promise, I won’t underestimate anymore.
First, I think Indian filmmakers would be delighted if they knew their work was giving someone strength and support to get through hard times by providing fantasy and happiness, and if that is how you are watching the films, that is wonderful!
As for the varying trends of Indian film, we’ve talked a lot about them here. First, I believe that the “fantasy” and fun films were always hiding a deeper message. It’s okay to just enjoy the fantasy, but the fantasy relies on things like supporting love marriages and inter religious friendship and all kinds of cool stuff like that. For the recent trend towards a different kind of film, it could be western influences, it could be the change in the release structure which prioritizes the wealthy westernized 1% over the majority, it could just be that awards shows and other outlets are focused on that 1% and therefore are ignoring the rest.
I also feel like I should recommend more movies if you liked Bahu 1 and 2, Magadheera, and Mirzya!!!! Hmm. The only two I can think of that you might not have run across before are Aan, a Dilip Kumar classic that is all about a rebel bandit and a Princess and stuff like that. And Rajkumar, a Madhuri-Anil Kapoor film with magic potions and evil witches and wonderful things like that.
On Wed, Aug 1, 2018 at 8:39 AM, dontcallitbollywood wrote:
Thanks for the referrals. Will watch for sure. And I adore Anil.